RIP Margot Kidder – she shall always be my favorite Lois Lane

I just flew home from vacation today and as I was browsing the internet briefly as I boarded the plane, I read that Margot Kidder has passed away at the age of 69. I knew she had some health problems and that she had stepped away from acting and focused more on political activism in her later years. It seems that just like the most famous role she portrayed, Margot Kidder also courageously fought for what she believed in.

I was saddened by this news particularly because how her portrayal of Lois Lane in Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie (my all time favorite Superman movie) and basically made the role as iconic as Christopher Reeve did as the Man of Steel. I mentioned in this 2011 post when Amy Adams was cast that Kidder was my favorite Lois Lane. Well, I think she always will be and I tell you why.

From the first moment we saw Lois in the 1978 Superman movie, we saw her in her element. She’s hard at work at Daily Planet, doing what she loves and does best, surrounded by people who relies on her and trusts her. We saw how her photographer colleague Jimmy Olsen adores her (probably has a secret crush on her) and how her boss Mr. White values her work. She’s the best reporter of the paper, and perhaps even the entire Metropolis.

This quote is from Superman II which best defines Lois according to her boss:

Perry White: If Paris is going to go kablooey I want my best reporter right in the middle of it… No offense, Kent. You’re good, but Lois Lane’s better.
Clark Kent: No, I mean uh, isn’t that a bit dangerous, sir?
Perry White: That goes with the territory, Kent. Don’t worry; if I know Lois Lane, she’ll not only come back with a Pulitzer Prize story, but a one-on-one interview with the hydrogen bomb titled “What Makes Me Tick.”

So when she meets Clark Kent for the first time at Mr. White’s office and he spills his new boss’ drink all over himself, she was focused on her work. Her career is the most important thing for her, not because she cares about being at the top, but because she is absolutely passionate for the art of journalism. In other words, she’s already a super woman before she meets Superman, and she doesn’t need a man (no matter how super) to define who she is.

Now THAT is what inspires me the most about Kidder’s Lois Lane. In fact, I was so inspired by her that for as long as I could remember I had always wanted to be a journalist. Never mind that I was barely in grade school when I saw Superman: The Movie, that film made such an impression on me I thought her Lois was (and still is) the coolest gal ev-er!

When I went to college years later, I even put down in journalism as my major on my I-20 (for those not familiar w/ being an international student in the US, that form is a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students). I ended up switching to Advertising with Graphic Design minor, but for one quarter, I did take journalism and broadcasting courses and I’m so glad I did! As I became a film blogger over a decade ago, the journalistic principles I learned in school proves to be quite beneficial.

So yeah, I did have a massive crush on Christopher Reeve’s Superman for years (he remains the only actor I’ve ever written letters to), but I was just as influenced by Kidder’s portrayal of Lois. I think to this day, no other actress can top Kidder’s portrayal of Lois, just as no actor can top Reeve’s Superman for me.

I mentioned in that 2011 article that I love the contrast of Kidder’s acting with Clark Kent vs. Superman. How she’s domineering and bossy to Clark, but then goes all googley-eyed in front of Superman. But what I didn’t mention is, that  Superman and his alter ego was just as mesmerized by Lois. I believe he’s drawn to her not only for her looks (though she’s indeed gorgeous), but because of her spunk, her no-nonsense attitude and simply her zest for life. Yes, Supes has saved Lois a few times, but no, she’s not some damsel in distress. She may be a bit ruthless when she pursues a story, but that’s because she always gives a hundred and ten percent to her work and is driven by the passion for uncovering truth just as Supes does.

All of those elements makes Lois Lane a heroine to me… who needs superpowers when you’ve got cojones like that?

No wonder Margot Kidder wasn’t enthused with the way DCEU portrayed Lois. As she mentioned in this article, despite casting a strong performer like Amy Adams, Lois was mostly relegated as ‘the girlfriend’ which seems like a step back in time.

Kidder’s Lois Lane was not ahead of its time, it’s timing was just right and therefore it’s timeless. She is strong as well as vulnerable, which makes her relatable. She is feminine (in her own sassy way), as well as a fierce feminist who’s comfortable in her own skin and knows her worth, no wonder Supes’ willing to give up his superpower just to be with her.

I feel like I’ve been rambling on when now all I want to do is rewatch Superman: The Movie. In sum, I just want to say THANK YOU Margot Kidder, for your inspiration and for defining a role of a strong woman for a generation and beyond.

May you rest in peace.


Have you been inspired by Margot Kidder as Lois Lane or otherwise? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Throwback Tuesday: Reminiscing on great scenes from my fave Batman & Superman films of all time

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Well, it’s been over a month since my last Throwback Tuesday post and today is just the perfect March edition. Later today is the press screening of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and though I actually had been rather blasé about the movie the past year, now that the day is almost here for me to see it, I can’t help feeling slightly more excited for it. After all, I have always been a fan of both DC characters, especially Superman.

I was actually planning on seeing Superman: The Movie or Superman II this past weekend, but of course it’s sidelined by Marvel’s Daredevil season 2. Yes, the irony isn’t lost on me 😉 In any case, I did watch clips of some of my favorite scenes from the definitive Superman AND Batman movies. For me, the BEST Superman films are still the Christopher Reeve versions, most specifically the first two movies.

So allow me to walk down memory lane with me in anticipation of yet another cinematic adaptation of two of the biggest superheroes…

Superman I

This chopper rescue scene could very well be the scene I’ve seen the most time in my life, given my undying love for the movie since I was a wee girl. That John Williams‘ theme song never fails to make me tear up, perfectly timed when Supes catches the chopper midair.

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“You’ve got me? Who’s got you?”

No matter how many superhero movies have been made since, nothing can touch this one. Not a single thing.

I simply had to include a flying sequence. The song once again is just lovely, and though it’s a romantic scene, it doesn’t feel at all corny, at least not to me. I don’t think any actor could ever top what Christopher Reeve did with the role of Superman. And Margot Kidder is still an iconic Lois Lane in her own right.

Superman II

“General, would you care to step outside?” That line is still awesome, which of course followed by Zod’s famous line “Kneel before Zod!” The flying sequences are still pretty cool, I mean yes the SFX has obviously improved since then but I still love the Metropolis scenery from above as Supes fight Zod & his two minions.

I remember people were all upset when Supes broke Zod’s neck in Man of Steel. Ok so it wasn’t quite as brutal, but Supes did kill Zod in Richard Donner‘s version too, and he didn’t seem all that remorseful. In any case, Terrence Stamp‘s expression as Supes crushes his hand is just priceless!

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As for Batman, it’s got to be the Christopher Nolan‘s Dark Knight trilogy. Even if I end up liking what Ben Affleck brings to the role of Batman, but I think in terms of the cinematic adaptation itself, Nolan’s versions is really tough to beat.

Batman Begins

Just like that chopper rescue scene in Superman, it’s the right combination of visuals and score that makes for an absolutely perfect and unforgettable scene. This is the first time Bruce Wayne discovers the ‘symbol’ he later chooses to become, and the scene always gives me goosebumps! So beautifully shot and “It’s time my enemy shares my dread.”

Now, I know this scene doesn’t exactly show the heroics of the caped crusader, but that’s just it. It’s a lighthearted moment that gives us a bit of rest from all the dark stuff our hero is going through. And who doesn’t love that practically orgasmic look on Bruce Wayne’s face as he quipped, ‘does it come in black?’

The Dark Knight

I have dedicated a post for this interrogation scene, as it showcased such tremendous acting from both Christian Bale and Heath Ledger. It’s one of those rare superhero film that can be considered a masterpiece but I don’t think it’d be a hyperbole to consider The Dark Knight as one, and Ledger’s post-humous Oscar is absolutely well-deserved.

There are many many great action scenes in the Dark Knight trilogy but I think THIS one is the best and most feverishly entertaining sequence. Batman’s got such awesome rides and he sure knows how to use it! I get so giddy watching his cape billowing in the air as he rides that bat-pod and that spectacular wall flip after he er, flipped Joker’s truck, it’s nothing short of epic!! It was quite a feat to pull off technically but my gosh was it well worth it as we can appreciate it for years to come!

The Dark Knight Rises

Just like James Bond, Bruce Wayne’s got some awesome gadgets and in this Batman vs Gotham Police scene, he’s certainly got the upper hand. The moment the BatPlane came out of that alley was pure geekgasm stuff! I also love that the whole time Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was in the car w/ Deputy commissioner Foley, he’s defending Batman.

The first mano a mano between Batman and Bane is definitely a highlight. It sent me chills down my spine when Bane said, ” I was wondering what would break first: Your spirit, or your body.” It was tough to hear Tom Hardy‘s mumbling at times but when you can make out what he’s saying, it’s pretty darn scary.

I wonder which scene(s) I’d include from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice months down the line, but I’m guessing it’d involve Wonder Woman 😉


Hope you enjoy a bit of walk down memory lane with the two DC superheroes. Which Batman & Superman scenes from past movies are YOUR favorites?

My entry to the Movie Roulette Blogathon

movie-roulette-posterWhen I saw this blogathon that Getter over at Mettel Ray Blog is hosting, I simply had to participate! What an awesome idea, and original one at that. It must’ve taken her ages to made five of those gifs.

Here are the rules:
1. There are 25 facts, you have to pick 5 or more and for each, you drag out a movie as an answer! *Click on the gif, hold it and drag out a single movie*
2. You can only drag out one movie for each statement, no do overs,
3. Write down your answers and feel free to comment whether they make sense or not.
4. Link back to this announcement, and link to the Movie Roulette Ultimate Gif Set as well!
5. Last but not least, have fun!

This proves to be quite fun to do, though I have to admit sometimes I pick the movie first then look at the facts [hope that’s ok Getter!] 😀 Ok, here goes:

1. This movie describes my mood in the mornings the best

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You’ve Got Mail

Every morning, first thing I check is my iPad for email/twitter/tumblr, etc. In a way, my online connection is what fuels my day 😛

2. I hate the main [male] characters of this movie, but I think they [are] still very hot

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This Means War

I abhor the daft idea of this movie but I still watched it [on the plane] for these two guys. I mean Tom Hardy AND Chris Pine looking every bit as gorgeous in every scene? Heck yeah!

3. I would make love to this movie’s plot, it’s amazing

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Casablanca

Glad I saw this on the big screen, thanks to TCM Rerelease! One of the best stories about unrequited love… beautifully done all around.

4. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night thinking about this movie… it’s so good!

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The Dark Knight

As I just happened to see this interrogation scene during Christopher Nolan’s lecture earlier this month, I remember thinking about how good this scene is. It’s so well-constructed and the two actors are absolutely perfect. It was mesmerizing and it really riled me up.

5. When I think of my childhood, I think of this movie

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Superman: The Movie

Well naturally. I saw this when I was a wee girl, probably 4-5, and even at that age, I immediately fell for Christopher Reeve. Yep, he set the bar VERY high for my future crushes.

6. Every time this movie is on TV, I turn it off and sit in complete silence instead

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Friends with Benefits

This movie actually never came on TV as I barely watch any TV. But if it were, I’d rather sit in silence or watch paint dry than watch this.

7. This movie makes me so emotional I even cried while watching it

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HER

I saw this in a nearly empty cinema and I’m glad there was nobody sitting near me as I was bailing my eyes out in some scenes. It struck me hard emotionally… it was a beautiful experience.

8. If I ever made a movie, it would be something similar to this movie

NottingHill
Notting Hill

I’m referring to the basic idea of this film, and I’ve been toying w/ the idea for some time. In fact, this inspires me to resurrect the Fantasy Movie Pitch blogathon that a now-defunct blog used to do a few years ago.

10. I always wanted to punch this movie’s main character(s) in the face

Twilight
Twilight

I don’t usually get such a violent reaction whilst seeing a movie but can you blame me? I actually watched some clips of this as it’s now on Netflix Streaming [not sure why since I hated it the first time]. I had such a strong reaction wanting to punch these two silly that I simply turned it off.

10. I’m going to recommend this movie to the next person who asks me to recommend them a movie! (Challenge accepted!)

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Nightcrawler

I’ve actually been recommending this to people who haven’t seen it, and will continue to do so!


Well that’s been tricky but fun! What do you think of my picks?

RIP Robin Williams… oh how you will be sorely missed.

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I can’t believe I had to do another in memoriam posts when the sting of the last one hasn’t quite left me yet. I was just about to get on the elliptical machine at my gym when I saw my friend texted me: “Robin William died. OMG.”

Then I looked up at the rows of TV sets above the gym equipments, and sure enough… his face was splashed on the telly, along with the indescribable and incomprehensible caption: Robin Williams Dead at 63 in apparent suicide.

My heart sank.

In fact, it’s now four and a half hours after I learned of his passing… and it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. How could a man who brought up so much joy and laughter to so many people… could not find anything in his heart to be cheerful about? This was after all the same man who made his best friend and former Julliard School roommate Christopher Reeve laughed for the first time after his horse-riding accident that left him paralyzed. It was he who inspired Reeve to embrace life during the darkest moments of his life. Williams too was the go-to comic relief that even Steven Spielberg relied on to cheer up his cast during filming of Schindler’s List [per IMDb]

But I don’t pretend to know anything about depression and how it could overpower even the unlikeliest person, those we THINK didn’t have a care in the world, those with a seemingly la di da attitude… As someone who grew up with a mother who suffered from mental illness, I knew that the outside world never thought she was depressed or had a mental imbalance of any kind. She was a vivacious, cheerful, life-of-the-party type who seemed to have it all together. The fact is, nobody knows just what goes on inside a person. No one. At times not even the person in question… The fact that Mr Williams lived his life in the public eye must have made it all the more difficult.

I just want to take a brief moment to reminisce on what an amazingly gifted performer he is… truly one of a kind in every sense of the word. My first intro to the ferociously funny man wasn’t actually a full-on comedic role, though of course his comic timing was still on display. It was his role in Dead Poets Society as English teacher John Keating, a warm and passionate mentor who inspires his students to a love of poetry and to seize the day. Carpe Diem! I knew what that word represent before I fully knew what it meant. It’s eerie to think that he’s succumbed to the same fate as one of his students in that film.

RobinWilliamsDeadPoetsSociety

As I mull over his sudden passing this evening… I watched a bunch of clips of him in various movies and interviews, often with tears in my eyes… tears of sadness mixed with tears of laughter as I watched him being his crazy, zany self. I can’t count how many of his roles have become my favorites: Mrs Doubtfire, Nine Months, What Dreams May Come, The Birdcage, Good Will Hunting, and so on… he’s a lovable comedian to be sure, yet his villainous roles also made an impression, i.e. Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia.

Spanning over a hundred projects he’s completed, including voice work for TV & movies, he never seemed to run out of steam. Even as he underwent heart surgery and multiple rehabs, whenever he’s back on screen, he’s always in ‘firing all cylinders’ mode, never missing a beat. Oh how he will be missed. One thing for sure, I will treasure the wonderful performances Mr. Williams had blessed everyone, ardent movie fans and casual movie goers alike.

My heart goes out to his wife and three children. I will keep them in my prayers.


Thank you Mr. Williams for all the gifts of laughter and joys you’ve bestowed upon us. Your life was truly extraordinary… if only it weren’t gone too soon.

Life, Love and the Movies BLOGATHON

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It took me a while to finally get my entry done, and since today is my birthday, I figure it’s as good a time as any to post it now 😀

Thank you Nostra for creating another fun blogathon we can all take part in. Also thanks to Karamel Kinema for the awesome blogathon graphic. Now, the idea of the blogathon is to share our personal connection to movies by answering these questions below.

So without further ado, here’s my answers. I think those of you who’ve read this blog for a while already know about some of my answers 😉

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1. What was the first movie you saw in the cinema and what do you remember about that visit?

I’ve shared this on my Superman and Me post, so you guessed it, it was Superman: The Movie. It came to Indonesian cinema months later after it’s released in the US and I remember going to this rinky-dink cinema next to the house I grew up in. I couldn’t remember who I went with but needless to say, even at a wee age of four, I fell in love with Superman … AND the tall, dark and well, super Christopher Reeve. That’s quite a high bar that he set in terms of movie star crushes 😀

Ok, my hubby just showed me this video to me of this toddler’s reaction to Man of Steel‘s flying sequence. Ha! That must be how I have reacted seeing Christopher Reeve’s rescuing Lois in Metropolis!

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2. Are there any movies you have very strong memories of which are not because of the movie (for example something which happened at the time you were watching it)?

When I was a young teen my mom brought back three films from a European vacation and those were My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Gone with the Wind.

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I didn’t realize this until much later that each film had a strong female protagonist in it. Out of the three, GWTW perhaps left the most lasting impression as my mom had to pretty much translate a lot of the dialog for me and explained the history about the Civil War era, etc. I guess Hollywood movies served as my early intro to learning English and a bit about American culture as well.

3. Which movies had a big impact on you and changed a (small) part of your view on life?

Hmmm, tough question. I don’t know if there are specific ones but the three films above were inspiring to me as there are a lot of strong women in my own family as well. I think some eye-opening documentaries do change my outlook on certain things, i.e. The Cove discouraged me from ever going to a Sea World-type of places, and Gladiators Football doc about concussion made me think of American football in a whole new light.

4. Do you have any comfort movies which you return to because you are in a specific mood (for example if you are feeling down/nursing a heartbreak)?

The two movies I can always rely on to lift up my up are Return to Me and Sense & Sensibility (both the 1995 and the BBC 2008 version). Both have the kind of heart-warming story that inspires and entertain. Since it’s almost Valentine’s day, I highly recommend Return to Me as most of you probably haven’t seen it. It’s one of the few rom-coms I love, along with You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle & The Holiday that are made by female directors!

5. If a movie would be made about your life, what type of movie would it be and who would you like to portray you?

RashidaJonesWell considering there is barely any Asian actress who resembles me in Hollywood, I really can’t picture who could play me. Maybe Rashida Jones as she’s petite and has olive skin … of course we want someone far prettier than ourselves to play us right? 😉

I had quite a dramatic childhood – sent to a boarding school at the age of 7 for 5 years, then losing my mother on my 16th birthday are pretty unusual for any kid. Let’s just say I saw a lot of funerals growing up, as my uncle took his own life a few months after my mother’s passing, and my grandma (whom I lived with after my mom’s death) also died 3 years later. So needless to say, the movie wouldn’t be a rom-com ahah, maybe a dark comedy as there were times my family reminds me of something out of August: Osage County, ahah.

6. Which existing movie best represents you?

Hmmm, none from that I have seen. I have to think this through a bit and maybe update this post when I have the faintest idea, ahah.

7. If you knew you would die tomorrow, what would be the last movie you would want to see?

Ahah well I don’t want to be thinking about death on my birthday, even if it has happened before (see above). Last movie… maybe Amazing Grace, because it’s such a beautiful and inspiring story and one of those films I’d recommend people to see before they die.

8. If you can spend your life working in the film industry, what would you be and why? (you know, director, producer, actor, cinematographer, costume designer, sound designer etc?)

Ever since I was a kid, every time my teacher asked ‘what would you like to be when you grow up?‘ I always answered screenwriter. So I’m going to stick with that… or casting director would be a fun job as well I’d imagine.

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1. Did you ever have a first kiss with someone while at the cinema and if so which movie was playing?

Nope. I go to the cinema to watch a movie. Thankfully my husband feels the same way.

2. What is your favorite movie relationship and why?

I like the playful banter between Joe and Kathleen in You’ve Got Mail, but in terms of marriage in films, my favorite is between Paul & Julia Child in Julie & Julia as they’re so sweet and supportive to each other. I’m fortunate that I’ve found an equally supportive and sweet hubby in life, hence I dedicated this post to him.

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3. When did your love for movies start and how has it grown?

Film is in my blood as my late dad worked in the film industry before I was born, both as a screenwriter and director. He also did some poster art as well I believe. Though I credit my late mother because since they divorced when I was three, she was the one who introduced Hollywood films to me. I wasn’t that into movies in high school and college however, not sure why, but shortly before I started this blog, I started getting into it again and writing about film definitely fuels my passion for film.

4. If you have to choose one film to watch with your loved one, what would it be and why?

It’s either Captain America or The Rocketeer (both happen to be directed by Joe Johnston!) as we’re such a big fan of both films.

5. If you can choose one character from a movie to be your significant other who would it be and why?

Right of the bat I go with John Thornton from BBC North & South as he’s not only gorgeous but responsible and hard working. Even though he appears tough and even callous at times, he’s a big softie in the inside and he’s capable of loving a woman with all his heart.

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But in terms of feature film character, I’d go with superhero [hey why not right?]. Instead of Batman or even Superman, I’d choose Captain America/Steve Rogers because even with all that power and being THE first Avenger, he remains humble and a gentleman. Plus it’d be interesting to hear his retro stories from his pre-frozen days and helping him adapt to the new world.

6. What was the first movie that made you fall in in love with film and cinema?

I think this has been covered by a couple of earlier questions above (see #1 & #2 under Life). I think the Disney Princess movies also made me love film at an early age and appreciate the beauty in its creativity and power of escapism. Thankfully it didn’t skew my outlook on romance though, I knew even early on there’s no such thing as a Prince Charming.

7. How did your passion for movies turn you into a movie blogger?

Well, I’ve always been talking about movies in a very passionate way to my friends and co-workers that some of them urged me to just start a blog. But it didn’t take an assignment to help design a WordPress blog that finally push me to start one. This blog is the perfect outlet to combine my love for writing AND movies.

8. What is your favorite date from a movie?

I know I already said I wouldn’t have chosen Superman as my significant other, but if it were just for a couple of dates, nothing beats flying with the most powerful and gorgeous alien in the universe. So for the ultimate fantasy, I’d go with the Can you read my mind scene from Superman: The Movie, but in terms of something closer to earth, I’d go with Roman Holiday. Ok so it’s not a *date* per se but I’d love to explore a romantic city like Rome with a gorgeous creature like Gregory Peck as my date 😉

Well, that’s my answers! Click on the logo below to the main Blogathon Overview page.

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Everybody’s Chattin’ – Vol. 26

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Happy Friday everyone! It’s the last day of May but sadly I’m still wearing jackets these days… with umbrellas in tow!! It’s been a pretty lame Spring, and it looks like it’s gonna be slow going Summer too 😦

But hey, I’ll be seeing Man of Steel is exactly 11 days, so THAT definitely puts an extra spring in my step!! I usually get bothered by the endless amount of movie marketing, and this movie has certainly been bombarding us with endless TV spots… but y’know, I don’t mind at all. I don’t think anything can dampen my excitement for this, ahah. Ok, normally I don’t post interviews but allow me to indulge a bit today with this Henry Cavill interview with Vanity Fair:


I never said this about anyone but Mr. Cavill is like the 8th wonder of the world … [sigh]…

Ok, now that I’ve regained my composure (somewhat), let’s get on some awesome posts I’ve been reading in the past week. I’m going to put a number on each of the Everybody’s Chattin’ posts from now on, just so I can keep track 😉

Kavalier & ClayWell, since Superman’s been on my mind lately, I’ll start with Cindy Buchman‘s post on this awesome book Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon, which takes the story of Siegel and Shuster and loosely fictionalized their partnership and their account of creating the comic strip we know and love today. I’m gonna see if Amazon has this!

While we’re at it, Bubbawheat asked the burning question Why do superhero movies appeal to you? It’s definitely an intriguing question, one which I attempt to answer recently in my Superman & Me post, but it’s great to hear what everyone else has to say.

Cavill_ManOfSteelRich also did a fabulous write-up on how Christopher Reeve and Richard Donner’s vision of the Man of Steel has been the standard-bearer for superhero films in general for many years and inspired millions. He argued why Henry Cavill [and the new film] would need  to escape Reeve’s shadow an be compelling enough to stand on its own. I totally concur and from what I’ve seen so far, I needn’t worry 😀

Now, switching gear to a Marvel superhero, Lady Sati just recently did her review of Iron Man 3. I always LOVE her reviews with all the awesome photos and even more awesome rating system!

A film’s artistic sensibility sometimes begins even before the film itself. Michael has been featuring great Opening Titles on his blog (with this super one being one of my all time favorites, natch) and the latest one he featured is from the sci-fi mystery Contact. I’ve been wanting to see it for a while but just haven’t got around to it yet.

What I love about the blogging community is discovering day in and day out how various films affect fellow cinephiles differently. Keith and his Public Movie Defender posts are awesome as he picks movies that have been lambasted by critics [even audience alike] and serve up his own defense why he disagree with them. The latest one was on Terminator Salvation, which I happen to enjoy quite a bit despite the flaws.

WaltzWithBashirRyan at The Matinee (who was the inspiration behind this Everybody’s Chattin’ series btw) started something great with his BlindSpot series. I’ve been discovering a bunch of posts that opened my eyes to films I’ve been blind about, such as this Israeli animated feature Waltz With Bashir that Josh just reviewed.

Speaking of another indie, the one I missed out on last month due to a thunderstorm, well Terrence’s review of MUD made me even more curious about it. Unfortunately we didn’t see eye to eye on EPIC though, but still, it was an excellent one-word-title double reviews, so check it out!

I haven’t done a Birthday tribute in a while but you’ve got to check out Novia‘s heartfelt and beautiful poem to her beloved idol Cillian Murphy on his 37th birthday. I love how loyal she is to her crushes, as she remains in love with Cillian even though she’s been caught up in the British show fever 😉

For good Friday fun (or any day for that matter), check out John’s mighty creative Movie Directors’ Baseball Jerseys! My favorites are the Scorsese, Coens and Edgar Wright Jerseys!

Now, last but not least, you’d want to head over to FilmHipster to take a stab at his latest Guess the Movie & Win sweepstakes for a chance to win one of four awesome Blu-rays!


Stay tuned for my Monthly Roundup coming this weekend, as well as mini reviews of Epic, Now You See Me and other movies I haven’t got around to reviewing yet. Of course there are more Man of Steel countdown posts, one courtesy of Terrence from The Focused Filmographer 😀


Well, before you’re off to any of the links above, tell me, what’s your weekend viewing plans?

Man of Steel Countdown – Superman and me

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In just twenty four days (well 21 days for me :D), THE most anticipated movie of the year will arrive in theaters. There have been few movie events in the past decade, but for me, THIS would count as the one of the biggest one to date. In preparation for Man of Steel, I’ll be posting various Superman-related posts in the next three weeks. Stay tuned for posts from Michael @ It Rains… You Get Wet, Terrence @ The Focused Filmographer and Bubbawheat @ Flights, Tights and Movie Nights in the coming days and weeks!


Superman and Me

I have been a fan of Superman all my life. It’s perhaps not a surprise to most of you if you’ve been following my blog for some time. A throng of superheroes have come and gone in the last three decades since I saw Superman: The Movie for the first time. In fact, the number of comic-based films have quadruppled in the last ten years and there’s no end in sight, but for me, the Kryptonian hero shall always be my favorite.

SupermanTheMoviePosterIf you ask me why that it, I don’t know where to start really. I mean, I was far to young to know the cultural or social allegory of the time, that the hero was created in the context of the Great Depression in the early 30s by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. After all, I was in preschool when the movie was released. But somehow, it appealed to me and was way more indelible than any other movie I had seen in my youth and perhaps since.

I wish I could find it, but I remember seeing a photo of me in my family album dressed in a Superman outfit that my mother must’ve bought me. One of my aunts who was living with my family at the time often told me how much I was so in love with Superman that I wore that suit often and I had gone to the theater a few times to see it. Now I don’t remember that part, but I definitely remember renting Superman I and II repeatedly when I was a teenager.

No surprise I included Richard Donner’s movie in the Films That Define Us blogathon back in 2010. And this is what I said:

This is the first movie I saw a the theater… and I think I’ve gone more than once. I remember my uncle finally buying me the VHS as I kept renting it over and over again. This is probably what makes me love the superhero genre, so even if the technology looks dated now, it’s got all the ingredients that makes this one stand the test of time: the perfect actor to play Superman, a rousing score and epic, memorable scenes that truly made us believe that yes, a man can fly!

Of course the ‘flying’ thing is truly a fantastical element in and of itself. The first time I saw Superman fly, in the iconic chopper rescue scene that never fails to render me awestruck and teary-eyed, there’s such a huge rush and excitement. Even in so-so Superman movies and shows, the moment his feet leaves the ground and wooosh!!! Up, up and away he soars to the sky, it always leave me giddy like a school girl.

He chose goodness

I know a lot of people think Superman is boring because well, he’s such a goody goody, a model of piety that even Lois made fun of him when he asked Perry White to transfer half of his Daily Planet salary to his earthly mom Martha Kent in Smallville. “Anymore at home like you?” She asked. “Uh, no, not really.” Clark replies. No, there isn’t of course, well, not one from a planet called Krypton anyway.

The Biblical allegory of Superman as a Christ-figure is more than obvious. JK Muir’s splendidly-perceptive review of Superman: The Movie said it best:

… Superman: The Movie lyrically captures the mythic, spiritual nature of the long-lived Superman legend… Jor-El (Marlon Brando), an Elder God-figure, sends his only son (a Jesus Christ surrogate…) to Earth to walk (and fly…) amongst humanity. Immaculate white and gleaming, Krypton is a visualization of an extra-terrestrial “Heaven,” a world far in advance of our own. But just as Heaven faced an insurrection in the form of Lucifer, so does Krypton quell an insurrectionist named Zod… one who is cast to a Hell-like dimension (The Phantom Zone) for his crimes…

Ok so God the Father and his Heavenly realm was never in any danger so it’s not like He sent Christ as a ‘refuge’ for His Son, but the pronounced parallel is Kal-El’s love for humanity. So to me, the fact that the Kryptonian luminary epitomizes GOOD doesn’t make him boring at all. In fact, it makes him utterly fascinating as he’s such a rarity… a being who’s SUPER because he not only epitomizes perfection on the outside with his external powers, he also represents inner goodness we all aspire to. Superman has all this power at his disposal, and really, he could practically do anything he wanted. After all, what does he owe us earthlings anyway? Nothing. We can’t expect him to protect nor save us as we don’t even deserve it, but yet, he takes it upon himself to be our savior.

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He’s not without his share of tragedies, after all he not only lost his parents but his entire home world of Krypton, if that’s not ‘excess baggage’ I don’t know what is. But yet he doesn’t wallow in self pity and spend his days sulking or rebelling against his adoptive parents because he feels ‘entitled.’ I love how Mr. Muir puts it:

A real hero can still choose to take to the skies instead of lurking in the shadows, or seething in the dark of night.

I may not be able to relate to Superman with all his superpowers but power is a relative term and each of us has a certain degree of power and the choice to use that power for evil or for good. So in that sense, I can surely aspire for greatness, to be inspired by his heroism and altruistic notion. Superman has always been about hope and I’m sure glad Man of Steel will be so as well. As you’ve seen at the end of the second trailer, Superman tells Lois that the ‘S’ on his chest means hope. So long as there’s tragedy and misfortune in our world, hope shall never go out of style.

The Ultimate Immigrant

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Siegel (writer) and Shuster (artist) creating the iconic character

Now, later on, as I move to the United States to go to college, I soon identify with the Man of Steel because he too is an immigrant. No, I didn’t come from a dying planet like Krypton nor did I have adoptive parents in the US, but the idea of feeling alienated and an outsider in the community I live in is something I definitely identify with. Reversely, I was born in a Metropolitan City (Jakarta) and came to live in a small town in the US (St. Cloud, about 1 hr away from Minneapolis), but just like Clark Kent, I too have long come to love my ‘adopted’ country.

Superman is very much an American, but he’s also very much an alien. As they were raised by Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Siegel and Shuster perhaps also struggled with issues of immigration and assimilation as Clark/Superman does on earth. But through his struggles of concealing his identity and living a dual life – like many immigrants trying to fit in — Superman rise above all that and choose to be a champion for humanity, a citizen and protector of the entire planet Earth, not just United States.

Wanting to be Lois Lane

If there was a movie character I wish I could be for a day (or even weeks), it’d be Lois Lane. I mean, she’s a cool career woman with a spunky personality. She was the best reporter at the Daily Planet and lives in a swanky apartment in NYC even Carrie Bradshaw would envy. As if that weren’t enough, she doesn’t only get to interview Superman, she becomes the only woman who captures his heart.

Growing up, I had always wanted to be a journalist. Yes I even enrolled in a Mass Communications major and was intent on pursuing that degree with a focus in journalism. Well, after a few classes, I realized it’s not for me (I got into Advertising & Graphic Design) instead, but that goes to show how much the character from the Superman comics resonated with me.

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Who doesn’t want this kind of ‘friend’ stalking you at the office, ahah

It’s in the genes

Seems that my connection with Superman have began even before I was born. Back in 1974, my late father produced and wrote Rama, Superman Indonesia (perhaps the first Indonesian superhero movie ever – at least as far as I know). I actually have never seen the film on the big screen, the only token I have of that movie is this photo of the movie poster (I knew my dad used to do some poster illustrations too but I’m not sure if he did this one).

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Now, even though it has the word ‘Superman’ in it, the story is quite different as it’s actually closer to The Greatest American Hero as a young paperboy named Andi is given a magic necklace by an old man he helped, which could transform him into a superhero. Veteran Indonesian actor August Melasz played Rama in one of his earliest roles. According to the Indo Wiki, the film can’t ever be Internationally-marketed due to copyright infringement of the use of the word ‘Superman’ [sigh]

Now if you’re curious about and wants to see a super cheesy, SFX-free superhero movie ( I mean, the entire movie’s production cost probably only amounts to Man of Steel‘s catering budget for a day, ahah!), someone actually uploaded the entire movie on Youtube!

When the actor and the character meets

My admiration for Christopher Reeve, who shall always be my favorite Superman, pretty much set the bar in terms of my Hollywood crushes. I’m glad I was able to separate fantasy from reality though as Superman is, in Lois’ own words, a tough act to follow 😉 But when it comes to movie star crushes, I guess Reeve sets the bar high. You never forget your first one, they say, and Reeve was my first ever crush. But not only that, he’s the ONLY actor I’ve written a fan letter to in my entire life, and he’d also be the last. I was in my Junior High, I finally did it with the encouragement from my late mother who also helped me write it in English. It took nearly a year to receive a reply, but I ended up getting not one, but two autographed photos from him (arrived separately).

Later in his life, Mr. Reeve himself suffered a personal tragedy when he was thrown from a horse in an equestrian competition in May 1995. He became a quadriplegic due to his spinal cord injury. I remember crying when I heard the news. But in the nine years that he lived with such an extreme physical disability, he became a champion for people with disabilities through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. He was a hero even when he couldn’t walk, let alone fly, but then again, inner strength and courage is what truly makes a hero.

Speaking of actors playing Superman, I also had a premonition in regards to Henry Cavill. Back in 2002 when I saw The Count of Monte Cristo on the big screen, I distinctly remember whispering to my hubby when I saw the then 18-year-old Cavill came on screen that he could play Superman when he grows up. Now a decade later, imagine my delight when I first heard he was indeed cast!

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Interestingly enough, the actor playing his father in that film, Jim Caviezel, was also considered by Bryan Singer to play Superman in Superman Returns. But reportedly, Singer was hesitant to cast Caviezel as he had just played the ultimate Savior in The Passion of the Christ.

It’s been a while since I’m THIS giddy with anticipation the way I am with Man of Steel. I was stoked for Superman Returns seven years ago, but nowhere near at this level. So I’ll end this post with this awesome featurette that talks about the characterization of who Superman as a ‘conflicted, lonely and lost person’ and ‘the most powerful but also the most vulnerable.’ I’m liking these themes here, which makes the message about hope all the more compelling.


Well lookie here!! Turns out that the latest Man of Steel trailer titled Fate of Your Planet was out the same time I posted this.


Oh boy, is it ever intense!! It made me reflect on just how much Supes truly love people of earth and how much is at stake against a ruthless enemy like Zod and Faora…

For every human you save we will kill a million more. – Faora

OMG! That quote made me shudder! I think it’s wise that they save the most action-packed trailer to last, starting with a more dramatic and emotive one first. This convinces me more that the movie’s gonna have a good balance of being action-packed and packs an emotional punch!

BRING! IT! ON!


Hope I still have your attention after all my personal rambling, ahah.

What are your thoughts about Superman and/or Man of Steel? Let’s hear it!